Tech Packaging, Inc. a contract packaging firm based in Jacksonville, Fla., announced on July 31 that it is constructing a new 223,200-square-foot facility that will handle approximately $15 million in inventory a year in Humboldt Industrial Park, Hazle Township.
The company expects to hire 95 full-time workers within three years of the plant’s opening next spring. Tech Packaging, Inc. also operates a facility in Berwick.
Founded in 1990, Tech Packaging, Inc. provides a variety of packaging services including shrink wrapping, over wrapping, blister packs and clamshells, as well as repacking, relabeling and date coding services. Among the company’s many corporate clients are PepsiCo, Frito Lay, Del Monte, Unilever, Ocean Spray and Kellogg’s.
Company founder and President Bob Janes said Greater Hazleton was an excellent site for his company’s expansion. “We chose the area in large part because of its logistics, including the proximity to Interstates 81 and 80. Since our company has been experiencing such a large volume of growth, we wanted a bigger location and saw the site in Humboldt Industrial Park as perfect for our needs. The size of this building will be advantageous for our company and lead to cost savings for our customers,” he said.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said the project is expected to generate a total capital investment in excess of $12.4 million in infrastructure, equipment and employee training costs, resulting in 95 new jobs and 245 more retained positions in Luzerne County.
“Keeping my administration’s commitment to moving Pennsylvania’s economy forward continues to send a strong message that the state is serious about job creation,” Corbett said. “As a result, Tech Packaging, Inc. is injecting a big boost into the Northeast Pennsylvania economy and creating 95 new jobs.”
CAN DO President Kevin O’Donnell welcomed the company to Humboldt Industrial Park, saying, “Although Tech Packaging considered other areas, company officials saw the many benefits of locating in Greater Hazleton and decided to construct their newest facility here. With locations in Berwick and Hazle Township, Tech Packaging has demonstrated its commitment to northeastern Pennsylvania.”
“We would like to recognize the cooperation of local officials, which was once again key to the success of this project and will help spur the economy and create jobs,” he said. “This also displays the importance of continuing our relationships with private developers such as Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services in order to bring more projects to the area.”
Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services is developing the 223,200-square-foot industrial building just off Oak Ridge Road, immediately adjacent to the Amazon.com fulfillment center. The Tech Packaging building will be the 13th constructed by Mericle in Humboldt Industrial Park. Mericle Vice President Bob Besecker coordinated the real estate transaction on behalf of Mericle.
Besecker said the project site is part of Mericle’s Ready to Go Program. “Since our excavation team is already working in Humboldt on other projects, we are able to quickly transition to the Tech Packaging site and meet their deadline to have their building ready for occupancy by next March,” he said, adding that the Tech Packaging project is yet another example of the importance of having sites and buildings “as ready as possible” when companies are considering locating in the area.
Tech Packaging Inc.’s advisers were Matthew Marshall and Jerry McGarry of Cresa Philadelphia. The project was also supported by Jim Bob Taylor of Cresa’s Atlanta office.
State Sen. John Yudichak said, “While our region's unemployment rate remains high, these frustrating economic numbers are starting to turn around because of the investment great new businesses like Tech Packaging are making in northeastern Pennsylvania. Tech Packaging works with some of the biggest companies in the world and we are proud that NEPA will now be part of their world-class reputation.”
State Rep. Tarah Toohil thanked CAN DO for continuing to bring jobs to Greater Hazleton, saying, “Projects like these all come down to jobs. We have good people who want to work, including people who have talents that go unutilized. I am excited to hear the sounds of construction today because these jobs are so needed.”
Janes said his company has a short time frame to have the facility completed and he is confident in Mericle’s capabilities.
He said, “After examining our options closely, it was obvious that the Mericle lot was the best way to go. Mericle has the tools necessary to handle all the sitework, including excavating, getting the site pad ready and constructing the facility according to our timeline.”
CAN DO Vice President of Sales and Marketing Joseph Lettiere said the Tech Packaging project complements the growth of the food-processing sector in Greater Hazleton. “Tech Packaging provides services to many of the world’s largest food manufacturers,” he said. “Having one of the country’s leading packaging companies in Humboldt may assist our marketing efforts as we continue to focus on the recruitment of major food companies to the Hazleton area.”
Lettiere said the Tech Packaging project is one of several that have located in Humboldt Industrial Park within the past year. He named PECO Pallet, E.S. Kluft and Company, GENCO, PRO-CON and American Eagle Outfitters among the companies that recently completed or announced major moves in the park. Together with Tech Packaging, these companies are occupying approximately 2 million square feet of industrial space.
“We value our partnerships with Mericle, the Governor’s Action Team, Hazle Township and the commercial brokerage community,” said Lettiere. “By working together, we increase our chances of bringing more companies like these to CAN DO’s business parks.”
The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, a group of economic development professionals who work directly with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania, in collaboration with CAN DO.
Tech Packaging, Inc. received a funding offer from the Department of Community and Economic Development including a $250,000 Pennsylvania First Program grant and a $42,750 Guaranteed Free Training grant that will be used to train its new workforce.
In addition to its Berwick location, Tech Packaging operates facilities in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and Orlando, Fla. To learn more about Tech Packaging, visit www.techpackaging.net.